Grid Energy Storage

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A California public utility has brought the largest battery energy storage in North America online. Funded partially by federal stimulus funds, Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage Project is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of large-scale battery storage systems.

Southern California Edison Company is the largest electricity supply company in Southern California. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the utility won funding to develop a major battery energy storage system (or BESS). The Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage project consists of an array of lithium-ion batteries capable of storing 32 megawatt-hours, deliverable as an 8 megawatt stream of energy for 4 hours. The LG Chem batteries rely on the same lithium-ion cells installed in battery packs for General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, and feature 608,832 individual battery cells arrayed in 10,872 battery modules and 604 battery racks. Along with two 4MW/4.5MVA smart inverters, the project will be housed in a 6,300 square foot facility sited at SCE’s existing Monolith substation.